Molting

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Chowman13, Oct 11, 2017.

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  1. Chowman13

    Chowman13 New Egg

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    Oct 11, 2017
    I live in MIchigan. It's early October and I just noticed that many of my chickens are losing a lot of feathers. My beautiful production red rooster has lost all his tail feathers. They are only 6 month old birds. Is this normal? Many of the hens have bare spots on their back. Isn't it late for them to lose feathers? This is fairly recent. I have several favorites that I pick up and pet almost every day
     
  2. Chickassan

    Chickassan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Six months is pretty early for chickens to molt but right now is absolutely prime molting season,a lot of us have no tail chickens right now. Maybe someone with more experience with your breed will chime in .
     
  3. Chowman13

    Chowman13 New Egg

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    Oct 11, 2017
    I just don't want it to be mites. They have been dusting a lot lately?
     
  4. Chickassan

    Chickassan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well have you seen any mites? You can go to your coop at night and look them over with a flashlight if you want to be sure that isn't what's going on. The girls molting here dustbathe a lot too ,I'm guessing the new feathers coming in are itchy.
     
  5. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    Sounds like a mini molt...Young Birds molt...Its called a juvenile molt....
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC!
    Come on over to the Michigan chat thread.

    Odd.
    Are they 26 weeks old, did you get them as day old chicks?
    Are the girls laying yet?



    Have you checked them over real well for mites and/or lice?

    Best done well after dark with a strong flashlight/headlight, easier to 'catch' bird and also to check for the mites that live in structure and only come out at night to feed off roosting birds.

    Wipe a white paper towel along the underside of roost to look for red smears(smashed well fed mites).

    Part the feathers right down to the skin around vent, head/neck and under wings.

    Google images of lice/mites and their eggs before the inspection so you'll know what you're looking for.

    If you do find some...check out this thread:

    http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1134783/permethrin-spray
     
    Chickassan likes this.
  7. Chickassan

    Chickassan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I thought about that too but six months is a little late for a baby molt but op's birds are early for a first true molt. Might have some off schedule birds it happens. I hope that's what it is,I don't wish bugs on anyone.
     
    aart likes this.

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